Our urban forest, which includes all the trees in parks, boulevards, public spaces, and private property, does a lot for us. It produces oxygen, cleans pollutants out of the air, reduces temperatures by providing shade, filters stormwater, provides habitat for wildlife, and contributes to the biodiversity of our city. Trees and green spaces have also been linked to a broad range of physical and mental health benefits.

Report a downed or hazardous tree

You can report downed or hazardous trees through our online form or by calling our Operations Centre at 604-469-4574.

 Tree ownership

Want to know if a tree is on public or private property. Check ViewPort, the City’s web-based mapping system.

  1. Launch ViewPort
  2. Enter address in the address search box
  3. Click on Basemap Gallery in the top left corner of the screen, below the ViewPort logo. Click the Imagery with Labels icon. You should now see an image of your property overlayed with property lines.
  4. Click the More icon in the top left corner of the screen, below the ViewPort logo. Click the Measurement drop down. Select the Distance Tool
  5. Using the Distance Tool and identifiable landmarks in the imagery, you will be able to estimate the location of your property lines.

If you’re unsure about tree ownership, you can make a service request

 Trees on public property

Trees on public property are maintained by the City. This includes parks, street trees, and trees in natural areas. The City has a Tree Management Policy that identifies the principles that we apply to all trees on public land. For questions about trees on City lands, email Urban Forestry or call Public Works 604-469-4574.

Tree watering

Hot weather during the summer months can leave young trees in distress, which is often indicated by brown or falling leaves. During the summer, we use watering bags and fill them from a water truck. However, if you see a bag looking empty, please top it up with water.

If there is no watering bag on street trees near your home, you can help the trees by watering with a slow running hose for 10 minutes twice a week. While regional water restrictions do not apply to hand watering trees and shrubs, please be water smart and water in the early morning or evening. 

Property damage claim

See Property Damage Claims for more information on property damage and how to make a claim.

Trees on private property

Tree removal permit

As a resident, you must consult the Tree Protection Bylaw before removing a tree from your property. A tree removal permit may be required. See Tree Removal Permits for more information on tree removal requirements.

Trimming a neighbour's overhanging branches

You are within your rights to trim back branches on neighbouring trees to the property line as long as they are pruned to industry standards and do not damage, kill or make the tree hazardous. We recommend that you discuss overhanging branches with your neighbour prior to planning any tree work.

Any arrangements made regarding carrying out the work or payment is a civil matter to be worked out between neighbours. The City is not able to get involved in these matters. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour and want to determine your legal rights, contact a lawyer. 

Tree care

Here are some helpful tips on caring for trees:

When choosing a tree, consider factors such as space, soil type, moisture conditions,
and sun exposure. Our preferred plant list provides a general guide for selecting the most appropriate trees for our local area.
The best time to plant a tree is November through March, which is during the dormant
season. For tips on how to plant a tree correctly, refer to the International Society of Arboriculture’s New Tree Planting guide.

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil around the base of a tree. Mulch is valuable for tree health and care for many reasons, including:

  • moderating soil temperatures;
  • conserving moisture;
  • supressing weeds;
  • preventing soil compaction;
  • enriching the soil; and
  • reducing lawn mower damage.

Young trees up to five years old need sufficient water to survive and develop into healthy trees.

  • Water trees during cooler times of day so trees can soak up more water.
  • Water trees at least twice per week for 10 minutes. 
  • Water slowly to give time for the water to soak into the ground and reach the tree roots.
  • Water even if it rains. Young trees need more water than rain provides in the summer.
  • Hand watering trees is exempt from regional water restrictions.
Regular pruning helps maintain the health of trees. For tips on how to prune a tree correctly, refer to the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) guidelines or use an ISA certified arborist. Be sure to follow any rules or covenants you may have on your property and, if required, obtain a tree cutting permit.


 Frequently asked questions

What is an aphid?

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed by sucking nutrient-rich liquids, such as sap, out of plants. They thrive in dry, hot weather.

How do I protect my trees from aphids?

There are a few ways to help reduce aphid populations and protect your trees: 

  • Dislodge aphids with a hard jet of water, ensuring to spray under leaves and into the middle of the canopy. This is best done in morning or late evening.
  • Use a product such as Tanglefoot of Stik-em to apply a sticky band around the trunk of the tree to restrict insect movement. Place a protective band under the sticky product first.
  • Prune any branches that touch the ground, other plants, or buildings.
  • Avoid over fertilization and choose slow-release options. High nitrogen levels favour aphid reproduction and too much fertilizer promotes succulent new growth which attracts aphids.
  • Encourage natural aphid predators such as birds, spiders, ladybugs, lacewings, hover fly larvae, and parasitic wasps. 
Western hemlock looper moths

What is a looper moth?
The western hemlock looper moth is a native insect species in Port Moody that feeds on
trees such as western hemlock. Looper moths cause tree defoliation which, during outbreaks, can result in severe damage to local forests.

How long does a looper moth outbreak last?
Outbreaks occur every 11-15 years and each outbreak can last one to three years.

Can the outbreak be controlled?
There are not any control methods that are practical to control looper moth outbreaks. Current best practice is to let the outbreak naturally run its course, which usually occurs within three years.

Which trees do looper moths damage?
Looper moths typically feed on western hemlock trees. However, during outbreaks when populations are high, the moths will also feed on douglas fir, western red cedar, and spruce.

Will trees die?
Some trees do not tolerate defoliation and may succumb to the damage. Western hemlock in particular is sensitive to defoliation and tree mortality is common.

Are dead trees a hazard?
Generally, the trees were healthy before defoliation caused death. It will require years of decay before the trees become structurally weak.

Trees that have pre-existing structural defects may need to be removed if there is a risk to nearby people or structures. You can report hazardous trees through our online form or by calling our Operations Centre at 604-469-4574.

What is the impact to forest health?
Looper moths provide a natural and important role in forest ecosystems. By killing susceptible trees, nutrients are recycled and younger trees are able to emerge.

Tree topping

What is tree topping?
Tree topping is the practice of cutting and removing the tops of healthy trees with the intention of reducing the tree’s height. However, it is not considered a viable, long-term pruning method and can negatively impact the health of trees.

How does tree topping impact the health of a tree?
When topped, trees suffer from multiple large wounds and are often unable to prevent fungi from entering them. This can severely weaken or kill the tree.

To survive topping, trees may produce numerous shoots below each topping cut. These shoots grow rapidly and may reach up to 20 feet in one year. Although regrowth is quick, the new shoots do not have structural integrity of the original branches. They are prone to break and are especially vulnerable during wind storms.

Does the City top trees?
No, the City does not practice tree topping.

What is an alternative to tree topping?
A professional arborist can be consulted and hired to determine the type of pruning necessary to maintain or improve the health, and safety, of your tree. 

Urban Forest Management Strategy

Port Moody’s new Urban Forest Management Strategy, adopted by Council in September 2023, articulates a 30-year vision and goals for the management of our urban forest. The Strategy will help us preserve and maximize the benefits that trees provide as well as respond to the impacts of climate change and urban growth and development. 

Take Root Port Moody

Take Root Port Moody encourages tree planting on private land. To make tree planting easier, we are providing ready-to-plant trees at no cost to Port Moody residents at three community events happening in April and May 2024. Learn more about Take Root.

Arborist Documentation, Specifications, and Guidelines

Arborist Report Terms of Reference

Hiring a Tree Care Professional

Tree protection barrier fact sheet

Tree Replacement